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Waking the Dead
     

Waking the Dead

4.0 2
Director: Keith Gordon, Billy Crudup, Jennifer Connelly, Molly Parker

Cast: Keith Gordon, Billy Crudup, Jennifer Connelly, Molly Parker

 

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Another dark, atmospheric offering from director Keith Gordon, Waking the Dead has thankfully found the audience it deserved in the theater on cable and the home entertainment market. This excellent, budget-priced DVD not only showcases the moody romantic drama perfectly, but the disc's extras actually enhance the movie itself. Longtime Gordon collaborator Tom

Overview

Another dark, atmospheric offering from director Keith Gordon, Waking the Dead has thankfully found the audience it deserved in the theater on cable and the home entertainment market. This excellent, budget-priced DVD not only showcases the moody romantic drama perfectly, but the disc's extras actually enhance the movie itself. Longtime Gordon collaborator Tom Richmond's evocative and chilling camera work is expertly transferred to the small screen in the anamorphic widescreen process, and the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is crystal clear and well-balanced. Besides these technical coups, what makes the disc better than average is director Gordon's audio commentary and a batch of deleted scenes. Gordon's entertaining and illuminating audio commentary will be of interest to the movie's fans, but will be of real value to students and budding filmmakers -- it's like taking a seminar with the director himself. Gordon walks you through the making of Waking the Dead, but even more importantly, he explains his decision-making process every step of the way. Gordon's commentary is also available for the 12 deleted scenes that are featured on the DVD. While the finished theatrical film focuses more on the bleak romance between stars Billy Crudup and Jennifer Connelly, the deleted scenes take you deeper into the internal struggle that is enveloping Crudup's congressional candidate, his feelings that he may be selling out his ideals for success and his nuanced relationship with his loving working-class family. One deleted scene with Ed Harris (who's glimpsed only briefly in the finished film) is especially powerful, while other, more humorous scenes, makes it plain that Crudup's character helps his troubled brother at a key juncture (when, in the finished film, it seems as if he refuses to aid him). These deleted scenes enrich the movie deeply and yet they detract from the central love story. While it was understandable why so many rich scenes were excised from the film, Waking the Dead is actually one of the few movies out there that merits a restored director's cut. The disc also features a very short promotional featurette on the movie and the theatrical trailer.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Eschewing the predictable formulas from which most screen romances are concocted, Waking the Dead presents a complex, sophisticated, and highly intriguing love story. In his adaptation of Scott Spencer's critically acclaimed novel, writer-director Keith Gordon (The Chocolate War) maintains the book's multilayered narrative structure and fractured chronology, challenging the viewer to keep up with dizzying changes in time and place. Billy Crudup portrays an erstwhile politician and lifelong adherent to the status quo, determined to work within the system but madly in love with a beautiful, passionate activist played by Jennifer Connelly, who's fervently committed to effecting change from without. Her apparent death in a car bombing sends the stiff-backed politico into a tailspin. But is she really dead? Has she returned to rescue him from his soul-numbing ways? Emotionally demanding and quietly compelling, Waking the Dead will stimulate viewers with its unique perspective.
All Movie Guide
A film about the lingering legacies of the '60s, Waking the Dead divides its time between the early '70s, when the influence of the activism-oriented counterculture began to wane, and the early '80s, when its influence seemed to have diminished altogether. Though the film occasionally plays as though its dialogue needed another polish, and the abundance of deleted scenes on the DVD version is actually apparent within the film itself, other virtues carry the movie. Both Billy Crudup and Jennifer Connelly (who turned into a fine actress in the late '90s after too many cheesecake roles) deliver soulful, affecting performances. It's director Keith Gordon's remarkable sense of time and place and the film's sustained melancholy tone, however, that prove the most memorable, using the supernatural to capture an extremely real sense of disillusionment.
Entertainment Weekly - Bruce Fretts
Director Keith Gordon (A Midnight Clear) achieves an often impressive intimacy with his actors...

Product Details

Release Date:
09/26/2000
UPC:
0696306009924
Original Release:
2000
Rating:
R
Source:
Polygram Usa Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, stereo]
Time:
1:46:00

Special Features

Over 45 minutes of deleted scenes; Director's commentary; Theatrical trailer; Featurette; Cast and filmmakers' biographies/filmographies; Widescreen 16x9; English 5.1; English 2.0; English closed captions; Spanish subtitles

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Billy Crudup Fielding Pierce
Jennifer Connelly Sarah Williams
Molly Parker Juliet Beck
Janet McTeer Caroline Pierce
Paul Hipp Danny Pierce
Sandra Oh Kim
Hal Holbrook Isaac Green
Lawrence Z. Dane Governor Kinosis

Technical Credits
Keith Gordon Director,Producer
Renee April Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert Dillon Screenwriter
Jodie Foster Executive Producer
Pedro Gandol Asst. Director
Richard Hicks Casting
Stuart Kleinman Producer
Irene Litinsky Co-producer
Linda Reisman Producer
Tom Richmond Cinematographer
Zoe Sakellaropoulo Production Designer
Tomandandy Score Composer
Jeff Wishengrad Editor
Ronnie Yeskel Casting

Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Chapter Selection
1. Opening Credits [1:58]
2. Sudden Terror [1:35]
3. Mornin' Private [4:00]
4. Topic of Conversation [7:55]
5. Offer of a Lifetime [3:27]
6. ...and so it begins [2:17]
7. Love Letters [3:20]
8. The Campaign Challenge [3:09]
9. Heart to Heart [4:56]
10. Going to Chicago [4:56]
11. 1983 - The Campaign Trail [2:00]
12. 1973 - Contrasts [10:23]
13. Two Weeks in Chile [2:19]
14. Sightings and Sanctuary [:41]
15. Breaking Bread [6:32]
16. Final Journey [2:58]
17. Work Harder [5:52]
18. Contact [5:07]
19. Searching for Answers [3:49]
20. Victory Speech? [4:00]
21. Apologies [7:00]
22. Keep Fighting [8:10]
23. Closing Credits [3:43]

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Waking the Dead 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
...because of what he pulls off with this film. The tragic nobility with which Crudup injects Fielding in each scene leaves the viewer breathless at the climax of Fielding's tightrope dance with destiny and delirium. Keith Gordon seems to draw a lovely unaffected tenderness from Crudup and Connelly in this film. But for a rather hackneyed finale, this film would have evaded no critic's top ten list.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago